Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive

Front Cover
UPNE, Sep 15, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 168 pages
0 Reviews
All writers have stories of how some teacher, workshop participant, friend, or spouse gave them commentary that undermined their confidence and their writing. This "toxic feedback" has tainted feedback's reputation as a whole, causing too many writers to avoid or mismanage this valuable resource.
In the first book to focus on this vital but delicate dynamic, Joni B. Cole applies first-person experience, real-life teaching examples, and her own unique ability to entertain while reaffirming the many merits of feedback. Cole shows writers how to use feedback to energize and inform their writing at every stage of the process. For feedback providers, she delivers insights into constructive criticism and the difference between being heard and being obnoxious. Finally, she offers advice to workshops and critique groups on how to thrive in this collective experience.
In addition, established writers ranging from Julia Alvarez and Khaled Hosseini to Gregory Maguire and Jodi Picoult share their own feedback stories -- from useful to inspiring to deranged -- underscoring Cole's message that feedback plays a critical role in every writer's success.
Through a mixture of instruction, anecdotes, and moral support, Cole manages to detoxify the feedback process with humor and without laying blame, inspiring both sides of the interaction to make the most of this powerful resource.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kendall41 - LibraryThing

Though not a particularly well-written book, it is wordy and awkward at times, but it makes some good points that any aspiring should keep in mind when passing around that precious manuscript to friends, relatives, and the self-appointed guardians of publishing. Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Drawing on her experience as the leader of a long-running writing workshop, Cole addresses the delicate process of giving and receiving constructive criticism. She offers helpful techniques for ... Read full review


Feedback and the Real World
About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

A professional writer and editor, JONI B. COLE is creator of the "This Day" series, including This Day: Diaries from American Women (2003) and This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America (2005) and Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work (2008). She is a writing instructor and frequent speaker at universities and writing conferences around the country, and co-founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont.

Bibliographic information